NTSB Report Highlights Dangers of Wrong-Way Collisions

Wrong-way traffic collisions involve collisions caused by one vehicle moving in a lane direction opposing the legal flow of traffic. In many of these collisions, drivers enter an on or off ramp from a divided highway, entering into dangerously fast traffic. For drivers who make the mistake of entering the wrong way, accidents can be severe resulting in serious injury and fatality. For other drivers who collide with a wrong-way vehicle, accidents can be equally catastrophic. In an attempt to better understand the cause of these accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board has initiated a study and published a report on the findings.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has published the report on wrong way driving on exit and entrance ramps, not wrong-way accidents caused by a driver who crosses over the median. Our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys are experienced in the investigation of serious car accidents and are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims and their loved ones after an accident. In addition to helping those whose lives have been impacted by an accident, we are also interested in shedding light on driving safety concerns in North and South Carolina and nationwide.

According to the report, the NTSB focused its attention on wrong-way accidents because of the severity of the accidents of such collisions. Though they only occur in 3% of accidents on high-speed and divided highways, wrong way collisions are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries than other types of highway accidents. One of the reasons that wrong way accidents are so dangerous is because of the dynamics of the crash. In most of these cases, the wrecks on controlled-access highways will result in head-on collisions. Based on multiple studies that conclude wrong way accidents are more likely to result in fatalities, the NTSB is considering the causes of these accidents and methods of prevention. One study found that the fatality rate for wrong way collisions is 27 times higher than other types of highway accidents.

The NTSB has been examining the dangers of wrong-way accidents since 1968. Since identifying the risks of wrong-way drivers, the NTSB has developed nearly 50 recommendations to help prevent the accidents. Since many wrong-way accidents involve impaired or drunk drivers, many of these recommendations are aimed at stopping drunk drivers and providing requisite signage and warning to prevent wrong-way entry onto a high-speed roadway.

Currently, the NTSB has initiated additional investigations to better understand wrong-way driving accidents and to develop additional countermeasures and technologies to stop fatal conditions. In addition to wrong-way accidents caused by alcohol impairment, the agency has also considered medical impairments. The agency is also continuing to investigate and create recommendations based on drivers who suffer impairments as a result of an illness, medical condition or loss of vision or cognitive abilities as a result of age.

The NTSB continues to investigate wrong-way accidents and is working to provide a comprehensive and national perspective on these collisions. With increased awareness and better understanding of the wrong way accident causality, government agencies can develop an appropriate response, including signage and technology to prevent wrong-way collisions.

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation with our North and South Carolina injury attorneys. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Resources:

Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise in North Carolina, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, April 12, 2013

Are Hands-Free Devices the Answer to the Distracted Driving Problem?,
North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, April 6, 2013

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